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Real Questions about Global Warming

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Showing 1-25 of 294 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 1, 2008 8:55:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 7, 2008 12:10:45 PM PDT
There is no question that the planet is warming.

There is no question that there is a man-made component to global warming.

The really important questions are:

*How much has the planet warmed in the recent past?

*How much will the planet warm in the future?

*How much of the warming of the planet is due to human activity?

*What should we do about man-made global warming?

*What costs and benefits will be associated with anti-global warming measures, in the context of other serious problems facing mankind and the finite resources we can bring to bear on them?

I consider myself a contrarian, not a "skeptic" or a "denier."
If you are one of those people who think we must "just do something before it's too late," don't tell me I am no better than a Holocaust denier and expect me to join ranks with you.

If you are at all open to the contrarian side of the issues, I urge you to read Dr. Roy Spencer's new book "Climate Confusion" and Bjorn Lomborg's book "Cool It."

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2008 7:21:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 2, 2008 4:32:53 PM PDT
I have a real question that I was hoping someone could answer intelligently. This is why I came on these boards in the first place.

There was a 25-30 year period from the mid-1940's to the early 1970's where there was a significant cooldown on the Earth. Is anyone aware of an explanation for this cooldown?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2008 8:23:08 AM PDT

It's a great question, and I don't know of anyone on either side of the controversy that's even acknowledged the phenomenon, though it's right out there in the open.

Maybe Joseph can help us. Just kidding. I can't ask him because I have gone cold turkey on my Joseph addiction and am now in recovery.


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2008 3:38:14 AM PDT
yes, the scientific answer is I believe that there was a massive increase in manufacturing which poured sulphates and other pollution into the atmosphere which effectively acted to help block sunlight. With things like the clean air act in the 70s less pollution was emitted overall and thus temperatures started to rise.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2008 8:29:46 PM PDT
Jack Flack says:
Certainly there is a question as to whether the earth is warming. Did you just sleep through the last winter?

There is a huge question with respect to why any warming or cooling trend occurs. Perhaps you think mankind is also responsible for the apparent warming on Mars?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2008 8:53:14 PM PDT
mo says:
and the warming of jupiter all warming comes from the sun and always has

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2008 9:17:33 AM PDT
Jack, don't mean to jump in your stuff, because I think you and I are on the same side. It kind of depends on whether you want to look at the last century or the last decade.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2008 6:48:44 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 23, 2011 9:41:36 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2008 5:00:04 PM PDT
Yes, I can explain it, but the site doesn't weem to accept my comments.

Robert Watts

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2008 5:13:03 PM PDT

During that time (1940s to 1970s) the ocean at mid depths warmed by about a tenth of a degree Centigrade. Because of the large het capacity of water, this amounted to a huge amount of heat. This was probably because the thermohaline circulation slowed, as it does sometimes, allowing heat to diffuse from the upper ocean into the depths. I have written about this and other of the skeptics claims in my book "Global Warming and the Future of the Earth" (Morgan and Claypool publishers; check it out on and the references therein. In that book I also explain why many other claims by the skeptics are easily refuted, including the claim by Spencer and Christy that the mid troposphere is not warming and the claim that urban warming influences the data and that the Sun is responsible.

Robert G. Watts
Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering
Tulane University

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 9:11:57 AM PDT
Hi Richard,

Addressing your questions concerning recent past and future;

Sorry to seem obscure but what do you mean by recent past? How long into the future?

Most current research shows that the earth is now warmer than it was during medieval warm period ~900 years ago. That means that one would have to go back to the last interglacial period ~120,000 years ago when it was slightly warmer.

As to the future there are many unknowns so anyone who claims to know for sure must have a crystal ball.

There are plenty of unburned hydrocarbons and coal for us to double the amount of atmospheric CO2 from preindustrial levels. We are now over 1/3 of the way to achieving that. It is expected that we will get there between 2060 and 2100. The wide gap is largely dependent upon the rate that we burn coal as it emits much more CO2 per BTU than either petroleum or natural gas. Economics has a large influence here.

Best estimates put the total of forcings (including feedbacks) for doubling the atmospheric CO2 at ~3 degrees Celsius.

It is important to realize that Lomborg continues to soften his stance concerning the problems of AGW (He used to deny them completely now his stance is basically "they aren't so bad and we can adapt"

Roy has recently been producing some very biased graphs to back up his arguments. You might want to read a technical discussion of them over at RC:

Search RC for much more discussion about both Spencer and Lomborg (and Svensmark and Lindzen for that matter) before you make your mind up about any of them

Does that address your questions?


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 10:08:07 AM PDT

I knew the answers to the questions I raised in my original post (April 1, 2008) when I raised them.

I'm looking for answers to those questions from the global warming alarmist establishment, of which I assume you are a part. If not, my apologies.

What is your program, and when can we have some credible science to support it?

As to the latter, a substantive response to the issues summarized by Lawrence Solomon in his book "The Deniers" would be a start.

Rick Wright

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 1:23:43 PM PDT
If you already know the answers to these questions it sounds like you are wasting both of our time (and that you have deceived yourself).


If you are not already familiar with Spencer Weart's book you should check it out as it would seem to address some of your misconceptions concerning the history of climate change research. You can buy it at Amazon or read it for free here:

If you want more science I suggest you read the IPCC AR4(2007) Read chapter 1: Historical Overview of Climate Change Science.
You can buy the whole thing here at Amazon or you can download it here for free:

As to Solomon's book I have not read it but from its description it looks largely like a collection of straw man arguments and questionable claims. I suggest easiest places to find responses to these authors would likely be here:


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 2:15:01 PM PDT

Sorry that you consider my posting questions I'd like to have answered by the global warming lobby as a waste of time. I consider them as being of the essence.

To the extent that this discussion seems to be moving toward "dueling references," we probably are wasting our time. It's sad that research for so many of us seems to consist of looking for material to "support" our preconceptions.

I consider your impression of Solomon's book to be totally off the mark, but then I have the advantage of actually having read it.

But, thanks for the references, anyway. I'm not familiar with Spencer Weart. I'll look him up.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 2:27:37 PM PDT
Why have your questions answered by a lobby? What a mistake that is!
Ask the scientists.

If you think they are part of a lobby I'd like to see more than the usual weak circumstantial evidence...(you know; the Crichton quality stuff.)


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 2:39:07 PM PDT
BTW Richard: I will clarify for the benefit of anyone else reading along (as you likely knew what I meant but chose to misinterpret my words).

I too consider these very important questions. Discussing them with someone who has already "knows the answers" is what I consider a waste of time. I don't know the answers to your questions with certainty (IMO no one does, certainly not the IPCC they have never claimed to.) One can only give likely outcomes based on likely scenarios based on the best scientific evidence to date. Such is science.

If you are asking questions whose answers you think you already know you are not looking for knowledge, you are spreading propaganda. Don't waste our time with that.


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 2:46:46 PM PDT

I now see from other posts on similar threads that your mind is not open.

See you later.


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 3:19:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 30, 2008 5:37:33 PM PDT
One more thing for the rest of you reading along, If you want to keep up with things you really should read the blogs.

The latest discussions are concerning Lord Monckton's entry this month in the current issue of the American Physical Society's "Forum on Physics & Society". Although this particular publication is not peer reviewed the APS is well respected in its field.

There are many blog entries by many of the usual folks. I draw your attention to one. Please read and think about the comments.

Here's the article:

Here's Gavin's response:

Here's Lord Monckton's response to Gavin:

Likely other folks might want to reccomend Blogs. Of "blogs from the other side" probably McIntyr's has the most respect. I read it every week.

Probably the hottest single blog entry of this year was Andy's here:
A lot of the big names posted to before it was shut down.

Decide for yourself whose science is better.


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2008 12:53:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2008 12:59:26 PM PDT

My answers to the important questions are provisional, and thus subject to being revised by anyone with substantive arguments and/or credible science. Hopefully open minds don't equate to empty heads.

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of overlap among the terms global warming lobby, global warming alarmists, and global warming establishment scientists. I tend to consider them interchangeable.

Do you have an opinion about Lord Monckton's paper, or would you consider that to have an opinion would constitute being closed minded?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2008 12:09:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 7, 2008 1:05:18 PM PDT
For amplification on the questions raised in my original post in this thread, see Svensmark/Calder's "The Chilling Stars" and Lawrence Solomon's "The Deniers."

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2008 1:01:44 PM PDT
"If you are asking questions whose answers you think you already know you are not looking for knowledge, you are spreading propaganda. Don't waste our time with that."

Very astute of you Dan - Mr Wright is all propaganda.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2008 6:41:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 8, 2008 6:48:04 AM PDT
Unfortunately, Dan's interpretation of my comment re:knowing the answers was spurious (if interested, see my later post), and as usual, so is Van De Mark's.

"IMO" we do need to keep looking for the answers. That's why I continue to try to evince answers to the questions in my original post from the global warming establishment.

And, Joseph, can you offer your own substantive reaction to Lord Monckton's paper, or will you just stick with your typical ad hominem attack?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 1:30:24 PM PDT
George I. Tay: <<There was a 25-30 year period from the mid-1940's to the early 1970's where there was a significant cooldown on the Earth. Is anyone aware of an explanation for this cooldown?>>

If you look at the carbon emission graphs you'll see a marked reduction in CO2 flux during the early 1940s and lasting about ten years. The reductions were dramatic in Europe, Asia, and the far East - and are easily explained by the devastation of WWII. Industrial output was effectively destroyed in the some the world's largest emitters of CO2 (Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union, etc...) In the graph in the upper right hand corner of the cited page you can see historic ice core measurements of atmospheric CO2 (we don't have direct measurements until the 50s). You can clearly see the WWII related reduction in global CO2 levels.

Now look at the GMT chart for the century:

You'll notice that GMT peaks at 1941 and then declines rapidly until around 1950 when it resumes its inexorable rise. From 1950 to 1970 the rate of rise is slower than before or since, but the angle of rise in the 5 year average is unmistakable. The GMT doesn't get back to where it had peaked in 1941 until 1979 - but the decline happened during WWII and the immediate rebuilding "Marshall Plan" period afterward and then it began climbing in a pretty clear fashion right away.

Notice that the steepest rises in GMT correspond to the steepest rises in global atmospheric CO2.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2009 10:52:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2009 7:53:55 PM PST
Actually Joshua, there are direct air measurements of CO2 levels going back as far as 1812, some 90,000 of them in all. One can see the graph 'CO2 -1812 - 2004 Northern Hemisphere, Chemical Measurement' in 21st CENTURY Science & Technology Spring/Summer 2007 page 21 as part of Dr Zbigniew Jaworowski's report.
One can see from these data that CO2 levels have been as high as they are now (385ppm) on 5 occasions, all in the pre-industrial era; while around 1820 and again in 1940 CO2 levels peaked out at an average of 440ppm.
I understand that IPCC chose to ignore these direct CO2 readings in favour of the much lower ice core data because to reveal them would contradict their assertion that rising CO2 levels are a late 20th century phenomenon.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 2:41:22 PM PST


I'll be looking forward to Joshua's applying his considerable propagandizing talents to spinning his way out of this.

Best regards,
Rick Wright
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Discussion in:  Global Warming forum
Participants:  41
Total posts:  294
Initial post:  Apr 1, 2008
Latest post:  Jun 5, 2010

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